David Warner’s Australian Cricket Career

Australia’s controversial opener, David Warner, has retired from international cricket following his country’s elimination from the 2024 T20 World Cup. He represented Australia for 15 years, playing with great distinction in all forms of the game. He was not a part of the truly great Australia sides we have seen over the years but, even so, he departs the game with two 50-over World Cups, one in the 20-over version of the sport, plus the 2021/23 ICC World Test Championship among his honours – not to mention plenty of big wins in Tests and too many incredible innings to list.

Warner was not a popular figure in England, but then few Aussie cricketers are. Thankfully, in cricket the hostilities largely remain of the panto variety and Warner took a lot of the stick that came his way relatively well. That said, the 2018 ball-tampering scandal certainly did him no favours, at home or aboard, and there were certainly times when the “banter” headed his way may have been more of a genuine rebuke. Equally, Warner, whilst a good sport, was not always able to keep his cool.

As a cricketer, however, he was certainly a class act and retires from international duty with 26 Test tons, 22 in ODIs, and a single hundred in T20 Internationals. That puts him eighth on the all-time Australian list for Test match 100s and second in One Day International matches, whilst he is among a small group of Aussies to register a T20 International ton (Glen Maxwell leads the way with five).

Unlike his batting, which was a blistering, all-or-nothing affair most of the time, his retirement has been rather pedestrian. In June 2023, he announced he would quit playing Tests after the New Year’s Test at the start of 2024. Ahead of that final game, he let it be known that he was also retiring from ODIs as well, before revealing his plan to stop playing any form of international cricket after the World Cup a little later in the year. So, what do the numbers tell us about Warner, who some believe is Australia’s best all-forms batsman ever?

Test Career

The opener’s Test career was the first to end, with the New South Wales native playing his last international red ball cricket against Pakistan in his home state. The clash in Sydney was the third of the series, with Warner’s 26th and last Test ton coming in the series’s opener in Perth, when he scored 164. It was not such a fruitful match to end his Test career though, although he closed with a half century. Australia won by eight wickets in the end, with Warner managing 34 in the first innings before 57 out of the 130 they needed in the second.

The left-hander’s career in this format began in 2011 and in all, he walked out to the crease 205 times across 112 matches. He ends with 8,786 runs at an average of 44.59, those 26 hundreds supplemented by 37 scores between 50 and 99. In total he hit 69 sixes, scoring at just over 70 runs per 100 balls, these stats being indicative of the aggressive batter he was.

Notably, he scored 5,438 runs on home soil and “just” 3,000 or so away, averaging an even more impressive 57.85 in Australia. Unlike many Aussies his average against England is a little disappointing, from his point of view, at 36.83, dropping to around 26 for games in England. Stuard Broad, who dismissed him a massive 17 times, more than any bowler has removed any batter in the history of the game, is largely responsible for that!

Warner’s Record in One Day Internationals

David Warner celebrating
Credit Marc Dalmulder via Flickr

Warner’s aggressive style of batting, which sits perfectly with his confrontational personality, is well suited to white ball cricket. His ODI career began earlier than his Test one, the now-37-year-old making his debut in 2009. He represented Australia 161 times, accruing 6,932 runs. His overall average in this form of cricket is 45.30 and, unsurprisingly, those runs came quickly, at very close to a run a ball (SR of 97.26).

He recorded 22 centuries and 33 half-centuries, with a top score of 179, that coming against Pakistan in a game at Adelaide in 2017. That massive total was reached off just 128 balls and it was Warner’s ability to get Australia off to a fast start that was often so important and set them up for either a huge total or successful chase.

His desire to get on top of the bowler right from the off also put the pressure back onto the fielding side and made him a joy to bat with from his teammates’ perspective. He was very fast between the wickets, and ran aggressively, again putting the pressure on Australia’s opponents – although of course he didn’t always get things right, being run out six times in ODI cricket.

International T2- Record

Warner T20
Credit Stewartm82 via Wikipedia

Warner made his T20 bow for Australia in 2009, and that game on the 11th of January, 2009 was the first time he represented his country at senior level in any form of the game. He cracked 89 runs off 43 balls, an innings that really set the tone for the cricket he would produce over the next decade and a half for his nation. Interestingly, when he earned his first cap, he had not yet played a single game of first-class cricket, illustrating just how much potential he had demonstrated by that point.

His strike rate in this form of the game finished on a very decent 142.47, with an average of more than 33 and a top score of 100 not out from his 110 innings. He is his country’s record scorer in this form of the game and should hold onto that record for a good while yet. Of the top 10 Aussie runscorers in T20 Internationals, only one has a better average (Aaron Finch’s is 0.85 runs better!), whilst his strike rate is also right up there.

Warner is clearly not everyone’s cup of tea but there is no denying he has been a truly brilliant batsman for Australia. They have a big gap to fill at the top of the order now, in all three forms of the game, and there will be many an opening bowler around the world who will sleep a little easier now!